devLINK 2011 Recap – Sadukie’s Tales, Part 4

Last day of devLINK… I started off in Open Spaces, giving John Kellar and Leanna Baker live feedback on the conference.  It was great to hear how planning worked this year, and I gave them some suggestions for next year.

After giving feedback on the conference, I was off to the Mobile Smackdown.  First of all, Mobile Smackdown is the brainchild of my friend Jeff Blankenburg.  I’ve seen other versions of this at CodeMash and StirTrek, so I was curious to see how the devLINK version would be.  Add to it that I wanted to see how my friends Ben (on Android) and Sam (on Windows Phone) would fare, and I was curious to see John‘s approach to iPhone.  Little did I know, this was John Baker’s first time in front of a group – in my honest opinion, for the first time around, he did an amazing job.  It’s one thing to present in front of a group and totally different to live code in front of a group.  Ben was about one line of code away from finishing in the allotted 15-minute time period. Sam had it all written and just needed to run the code. John still had a feature to add.  I enjoyed seeing the Mobile Smackdown and seeing the different platforms.  It reminded me…

  • Windows Phone – C# – This makes sense.
  • Android – Java – Hey, I can read that! Maybe one day I could write it again…
  • iPhone – Objective C – Um… not a chance.  Reminded me sorta of my C++ days.  Don’t think I’d go back along that route.

Now that I’m on my own, I can finally look into building my Windows Phone apps that I’ve wanted to build for awhile.  But I gotta give the Windows Phone Mobile Smackdown veterans –  Samidip Basu, Jeff Fansler, and Jeff Blankenburg – a lot of credit.  That would be nerve-wracking to be live coding in front of a large group.   However, it did inspire me to get moving on some of these apps.

After Mobile Smackdown, a group of us caught lunch at Niko’s Southside Grill.  I had the avgolemono and stuffed grape leaves, which were delicious.

After lunch, I caught a couple more sessions.  Seeing StudioShell in action in Jim Christopher‘s presentation gave me some food for thought. It’s neat to see navigation of Visual Studio projects with PowerShell.  I also caught Kevin Griffin‘s jQuery Mobile talk, which showed how simple it was to use attributes to easily create a mobile version of a website.

By the end of Kevin’s session, I was truly exhausted.  I stopped at Chattanooga Cupcakes, based on a friend’s recommendation.  The red velvet cupcake I had was delicious, and I picked up a peanut butter & chocolate cupcake for another friend.  After cupcakes, I headed over to St. John’s Meeting Place to meet up with some friends for dinner.  Their Caprese salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella that melted in my mouth was to die for.

After dinner, I figured I’d get things on their chargers and start packing.  Instead, I fell asleep as soon as I made it back to my room.  I think the exhaustion of the week finally caught up with me.

Overall, it was a great week.  I learned a lot of stuff that I can apply to my new adventures.  I enjoyed my time with new and old friends, especially those who I only see at these events.  I look forward to devLINK 2012 and what lies ahead!

devLINK 2011 Recap – Sadukie’s Tales, Part 3

Standing room only at 8am… what a way to wake up!  Thanks to all of you who attended my “Develop IT – Intro to PowerShell” talk at 8am.  It was great to share my love of PowerShell and how to get started with those who wanted to learn more.  We started at the basics and then looked at some PowerShell building blocks.  My second session was less attended, but those who were there asked questions that showed they were interested.  We looked at script versus binary versus manifest versus dynamic modules.  Code samples were written in both C# and PowerShell.  Thanks to all of you who attended, and especially thanks to those who left feedback.  I’ve read through the feedback and look forward to expanding on these talks.  As I mentioned, there are some great resources for working with PowerShell:

The music video that I kicked off both sessions with was Highway to PowerShell – Part IV – A New Hope, as performed by Sean Kearney, a.k.a. energizedtech on Twitter:

In the afternoon, I caught my friend Michael Eaton‘s “Going Independent” talks.  Since I’m just starting out on my own with Cleveland Tech Consulting, LLC, I wanted to hear it from him and others as to what are some things I may need to account for.  While I may have talked with some of my friends who are company owners and independent consultants, I still wanted to see what I may have missed.  I learned a lot about myself and my decisions for going forward, including trusting my instinct and not being afraid to walk away if something doesn’t seem right.

Since I left the hotel in a hurry that morning, I needed to take the evening off to bounce back from my rushed morning.  I caught dinner with a group of friends – including Jeff x 3 (Jeff Blankenburg, Jeff Fansler, and Jeff McWherter) and a few others – at The Terminal Brewhouse.  Pizza π Rolls and Mr. Frog’s Super Happy Fun Journey are both very tasty appetizers.

It was also great that Jeff McWherter brought some of his Gravity Works Design & Development employees with him to devLINK.  I really enjoyed hanging out with them!

After dinner, I spent some of the evening hanging out with friends and the rest just resting.  It’s been a great event so far, and I’m already eager to see what devLINK 2012 will have in store for us!

devLINK 2011 Recap – Sadukie’s Tales, Part 2

After spending time with friends yesterday, I needed to take the morning off to catch up on my talks.  After reading my abstracts, I realized that my first presentation wasn’t setup right – it was more setup for a .NET developer user group and not purely intro level.  I reworked that talk to be purely intro level, in hopes that it’d be well-received.  I ran through both talks to make sure that they’d be fine for Thursday morning.  After catching lunch with one of my friends named Jeff, I made my way to the convention center.

Now I noticed on the devLINK site that there was something about the FREE Electric Shuttle through downtown.  Riding it reminded me of my days of riding the local buses here in Cleveland long ago.  It was nice to walk right across the driveway to catch the shuttle and take it to the convention center.

Once at the convention center, I figured out the lay of the land, visited with some of the sponsors including checking out the ComponentOne booth, and headed into a couple sessions.  The first session I caught was “Making (More) Money with Phone 7” by Russell Fustino of GrapeCity.  I enjoyed seeing some tips and tricks for marketing apps on the Windows Phone marketplace – including tips for trial apps, globalization, and other ways to get your app noticed. I was really excited to see the  Runtime Intelligence Service instrumentation in action – some of my friends are at PreEmptive Solutions, which is around the corner from me in Cleveland. The second session I caught was “Managing the mentoring process”, facilitated by Randy Walker.  It was a great discussion with those attending the session on mentoring versus teaching versus managing and what our experiences have taught us.  I really enjoyed this discussion.

At the end of the day, a group of friends stopped for dinner before catching some of the attendee party at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel.  We ended up at Urban Stack – which specializes in burgers.  The Italian burger with sweet potato fries was messy, yet delicious.   Afterwards, I spent some time winding down by playing games with some of my friends.  Overall, it’s been a fun experience so far.

devLINK 2011 Recap – Sadukie’s Tales, Part 1

While planning for devLINK this year, I figured that I’d get there a day early to meet up with friends for lunch, maybe catch a summit in the afternoon, and then head to the VIP dinner on Tuesday. Well some of that happened and some didn’t – for me, meeting up with friends started with meeting up with Kevin Griffin in Atlanta, before our flight from ATL to CHA. We had breakfast before our flight and then, once settled into the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, we met up with friends and headed to The Terminal Brewhouse for lunch.

After catching lunch with friends, a group of us met up and played Killer Bunnies in the hotel lobby. There ended up not being a summit this devLINK, so we just hung out instead. Eventually, we moved on to the VIP dinner at Blue Orleans. It was great to discover that one of the guys I worked with in college – Travis Smith – was also speaking at devLINK – great chance to catch up with him. If there’s something this day showed me, it’s that Chattanooga has food places to find and enjoy and that this week will involve good times with friends.

Get-ChooChoo -Type Chattanooga

I’ve recently found out that I’ve been selected to speak at devLink 2011. This is my 3rd year in a row speaking at devLink, and I’m incredibly honored to have been selected.

This year, I have 2 talks, and they are both on PowerShell! Tech editing and writing a PowerShell book really inspired me to continue to talk about it and get the word out. I used to spend a bit of time at the command prompt, and I love that I can bring .NET objects into a command prompt environment thanks to PowerShell.

My talks for devLink are:

Develop IT: Intro to PowerShell
This session is good for both developers and IT pros who want to get started with PowerShell but have not worked with it at all. In this session, we will look at the basics of PowerShell – from installation to grammar, aliases, piping, functions and profiles. We will use examples that are practical from both a developer’s point of view and from an IT professional’s point of view.

Develop IT: Extending PowerShell with Custom Cmdlets and Modules
This is the talk that debuted on 4/26 and will be custom tailored for devLink. PowerShell is a scripting language that takes advantage of working in a shell and being able to access .NET libraries. In this session, you will learn how you can write your own cmdlets to extend PowerShell to meet your business needs and distribute them in PowerShell 2.0, using your C# skills and Visual Studio 2010.

I hope to see some of you in Chattanooga at devLink 2011 this summer!